Children's social care is in crisis. What's needed is more cash, not privatisation | Patrick Butler


The government’s review of England’s children’s services must look at funding to improve the life chances of those in care

The recent ministerial announcement of a “bold and wide-ranging” review of children’s social care in England was timely, maybe even tardy. Few would deny change is needed: after a decade of austerity the system is at breaking point, and in parts chaotic, while the life chances of the growing cohort of children taken into care remain stubbornly dismal. But will the review be as comprehensive as it suggests?

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The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has promised an inquiry of the root-and-branch kind: everything will be examined, from early years help to child protection, fostering and kinship care and care homes. It will be independent, will listen to children and care leavers, and its recommendations will feed into “ambitious and deliverable” reforms tackling thorny issues such as reducing the number of children entering care.

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